Wright & Co - A Full-Service Wedding Planning, Design & Event Team

July 6, 2021

How To Take Better Photos Of Your Travels

carrie joy photography

Carrie Joy with Carrie Joy Photography is one of our dearest friends in the industry. I’ve not only enjoyed getting to know her through our work together. But we have also taken some amazing trips together as a team. One of the things that truly blows me away about her is her ability to capture destination photos in such an elevated way. So without further ado here are some amazing tips from her on taking your own amazing travel photos.

From Carrie Joy

While in Ecuador on my first international trip, I discovered the power of photography in sharing the cultures and places I was encountering with those I loved back home. It was a way of sharing my experience in a fun way, that was beyond just sharing the story verbally. I’ve learned so much about photography since that first trip. But the power of photography in telling the story of my travels remains the same.

Today I’m passing along some tips that I hope will help tell the story of your future travels in a more powerful way. While I love sharing on social media, I want you to think beyond the here & now. Instead think about what your travels might mean to you when you’re 80 years old. For me, the stories of other countries and cultures are part of the legacy I’m hoping to pass on. So I love to think of the story of my trips beyond Instagram. My hope is that these simple tips will help you see and tell a deeper story as you travel!

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It all starts with research before a trip. I love this phase – it helps build anticipation, gets me excited for the locations I’m going to visit, and helps in knowing what areas of a location I might want to visit before I go. I also love getting a feel for the flow of the place. What sites might I want to hit? Or skip? Where do the locals hang out? What up and coming restaurants or galleries might I want to include? Having a loose itinerary also helps me be intentional about how I’m going to capture my trip. As a photographer, I sometimes choose a location based on a specific photo I’m hoping to capture, and having a general itinerary helps me plan.

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Quality over Quantity

It’s less about how many photos you take, but more about taking the right ones. It may take a few tries to get the perfect shot. But I’d encourage you if you are using your iPhone, take a moment at the end of the day to go through your photos to select the best ones. Curating your trip this way will help as you share your story with others. Ask yourself, “Do I really need 6 shots of the exact same thing?” 

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Consider Time of Day

When wanting to capture the magic of Oia, Santorini for instance, the shots I dreamt of were not of the streets packed with tourists. They were of the houses tumbling down the hill in golden light while most of the world was sleeping. Throughout my travels, I’ve found some of my favorite experiences happened at sunrise, so I make it a point to get up for sunrise at least once in each location I visit, if possible. This is also a great way to capture some of the most iconic locations before all the tour buses start rolling in.

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Include the Details

Rather than simply focusing on the sites, I encourage you to include other details you’d like to remember like what you ate at the restaurant by the water in Venice or what the cocktails looked like in Naxos. These little details are really fun to pair with location photos when you go to design your Travel book, and they’re the kind of details that can fade in your memory over time but are really fun to look back on.

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Beyond simply food, adding in location details like the key to your villa in Amalfi or the olive branches against your homestay in Greece are really fun ways to remember the location (and time of year) of your trip.

Connect with the People

Additionally, I love to capture the locals. This was the most fun in Italy, but I’ve tried to connect with and capture locals on each of my trips. If they’re around, I love getting to know my host or hostess when staying in an Airbnb or VRBO. Some of my favorite memories are of sharing a meal with my host family, and it’s sometimes translated into a little portrait session. Be respectful, though! Not everyone appreciates having their photo taken, so it’s best to ask permission first.

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Include yourself in photos

As a photographer, I’m almost always the one behind the camera and sometimes I’ll come back from a trip and realize there are hardly any photos of me in the location! If you’re traveling with your partner, take turns getting pictures of each other. Or look into hiring a photographer to capture a short session of the two of you in the location of your dreams.

Carrie Joy photo

Make the Book

The final step is printing your photos and designing your Trip Album. This is where it all comes together. Keep in mind the story you want to tell of your trip & pull your favorite images together to tell a cohesive story. 

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From details to people, locations to experiences, I hope these tips help you tell a beautiful story of your future travels! I’d love to see what you create & the future adventures you go on. Share your travels with me on Instagram @carriejoyphoto 

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